Spanish Services Surge as Euro-Area Economy Shows Resilience

Services growth in Spain surged last month as the economy proved the “star performer” in the euro region, according to Markit Economics.

An index of Spanish services activity jumped to 59.7 from 56.1 in June, Markit said on Wednesday. That’s close to the highest level since 2006. The gauge for the euro area slipped to 54 from 54.4, though that’s above an initial estimate of 53.8 published on July 24.

A composite index for the 19-nation currency region indicated the economy maintained momentum at the start of the third quarter. Markit said the recovery may be able to accelerate if officials can make progress in a bailout deal for Greece and prevent another flare-up in the crisis.

“The euro-zone economy showed reassuring resilience in the face of the Greek debt crisis in July,” said Chris Williamson, chief economist at Markit in London. “With survey results like these, the ECB will no doubt see the euro-zone recovery as remaining firmly on track.”

Spanish services companies reported “another sharp rise in new orders” and job creation increased at the fastest pace in eight years, Markit said.

In Germany, the euro region’s largest economy, the services index remained at 53.8 in July, exceeding the initial reading of 53.7. France’s gauge for the sector slid to 52 from 54.1.

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